Events have always been a primary thread through every aspect of our lives. From concerts and games to conferences and trade shows, many of us spend a significant amount of time attending various in-person events, until recently when the pandemic forced us to move almost everything, online. But were virtual experiences and the demand for them something on track to become popular already – or did the current pandemic force them to become more common than they ever would have been?
Prior to February of this year, virtual and hybrid events were on the rise. People were using more online cloud-based strategies to tie into their live events. But the arrival of COVID-19, pushed the demand for virtual events to unprecedented levels, accelerating the trend.
With events rapidly being cancelled in 2020, at first everyone froze, with trade shows and events not happening there were questions by everyone of what was the alternative?
There was a quick move to other digital marketing touch points – but many quickly realized that the idea of a trade show, whether live or virtual, was an important component to overall marketing strategies.
Thus there has been a dramatic shift from most events being in-person, to most being live, virtual events. And people are becoming more comfortable with virtual only events and connections.
So will there be a move back to in-person as the economy starts to reopen?
It is hard to imagine that virtual events completely go away and instead there likely will be more hybrid events, in-person events with a digital component.
But what does the timeline for large big-scale events returning look like?
“That’s the million dollar question.” says Campano. “A full-scale event with 10,000 or 20,000 people showing up at one place at one time, is going to be a very difficult proposition. And I think that’s going to continue at least through the end of this year and into the beginning of next year.”
In the meantime, how do we continue to get in front of customers and help our clients do the same?
Listen to this episode of the Maverick of Marketing.